Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

As coronavirus spreads, stocking grocery shelves starts to feel dangerous

As coronavirus spreads, stocking grocery shelves starts to feel dangerous

March 17, 2020 | Kelly House

For grocery workers tasked with serving Michigan customers during the coronavirus pandemic, a nagging question: Does my job put me in the virus’ crosshairs?

Henry Ford and Beaumont have Michigan's first same-day coronavirus tests

Henry Ford and Beaumont have Michigan's first same-day coronavirus tests

March 17, 2020 | Robin Erb

The new tests are meant to quicken results for those already hospitalized with symptoms, it will not speed up drive-up screening. Henry Ford expects to test up to 1,000 specimens daily in a month.

Long lines, surprise costs irk people seeking coronavirus tests in Michigan

Long lines, surprise costs irk people seeking coronavirus tests in Michigan

March 16, 2020 | Robin Erb

Providers are trying to limit COVID-19 testing to the sickest or most at risk of spreading the infection. But shifting criteria and a lack of available tests are causing confusion, even among some doctors.

Experts fear Michigan may not have enough hospital beds for coronavirus

Experts fear Michigan may not have enough hospital beds for coronavirus

March 16, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Hospitals are scrambling to create empty beds in anticipation of a wave of COVID-19 victims, a surge that could swamp the state’s health care system.

The sobering reason Michigan day care centers are not yet shut down

The sobering reason Michigan day care centers are not yet shut down

March 16, 2020 | Ron French

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has closed schools, gyms, theaters and bars. Why not child care centers? The reason: So that medical workers and first responders who need to stay on the job have child care.

Michigan seniors face coronavirus, and the fear of being left alone

Michigan seniors face coronavirus, and the fear of being left alone

March 15, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ted Roelofs

For many of Michigan’s elderly, shuttered senior centers, bans on visits at nursing homes and canceled worship services threaten to cut off contact with friends and children.

Empty pews and open parking at one small-town Michigan church

Empty pews and open parking at one small-town Michigan church

March 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

The new coronavirus offers an extraordinary opportunity to build community — safely, at arm’s length — one pastor assured a mostly empty church.

Coronavirus doesn’t kill the party in Michigan. And that has many worried.

Coronavirus doesn’t kill the party in Michigan. And that has many worried.

March 15, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Robin Erb

 From college towns to big cities, Michiganders are crowding into bars despite warnings from health officials. That has some calling for Michigan to adopt stricter limits.

Suspect you have coronavirus in Michigan? Your doc may not want to see you.

Suspect you have coronavirus in Michigan? Your doc may not want to see you.

March 14, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

Some doctor’s offices are telling patients with flu-like symptoms to stay out of their office to avoid infecting others. And as one man learned, getting tested for coronavirus can be a fool’s errand.

Detroit off to slow start restoring water to homes as coronavirus hits

Detroit off to slow start restoring water to homes as coronavirus hits

March 13, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Detroit has turned water back on to fewer than 100 homes despite a program that slashes reconnection fees to $25. City officials say they are racing to solve phone and contractor issues they blame for the delays.

Coronavirus closed Michigan schools for 3 weeks. CDC says that's not long enough

Coronavirus closed Michigan schools for 3 weeks. CDC says that's not long enough

March 13, 2020 | Ron French

Proactively closing schools might help, but the three weeks that Michigan schools will be shut down may not be long enough to be effective.

Can I get tested for coronavirus in Michigan and other questions answered

Can I get tested for coronavirus in Michigan and other questions answered

March 13, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Bridge has reached out to the experts to answer your most pressing questions on how to protect your family and what steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe from the new coronavirus.

How to make your own hand sanitizer during coronavirus shortage

How to make your own hand sanitizer during coronavirus shortage

March 13, 2020 | Kelly House

With stores across Michigan running out of cleaning supplies, soap and hand sanitizer as residents seek to protect themselves from coronavirus, a homemade sanitizer recipe may come in handy

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

March 13, 2020 | Robin Erb

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top medical and school leaders announced the new cases, which brings Michigan’s total to 12. The state also is closing schools for three weeks to slow the illness. 

Whitmer closes all Michigan schools for three weeks due to coronavirus

Whitmer closes all Michigan schools for three weeks due to coronavirus

March 13, 2020 | Ron French

Faced with a growing health crisis, the Michigan governor ordered all public schools closed beginning Monday

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

March 12, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Robin Erb

Michigan has the lowest rate of public health funding in the Midwest, and local governments may strain to provide other services in the wake of the coronavirus.

Washtenaw school districts first in Michigan to close due to coronavirus

Washtenaw school districts first in Michigan to close due to coronavirus

March 12, 2020 | Ron French

Seven districts in Washtenaw County are moving to online-only learning beginning Monday, March 16. Districts around the state are wrestling with the pros and cons of closing as Ohio announced it was shutting its public schools.

Michigan is ‘flying blind’ on coronavirus without more testing, experts say

Michigan is ‘flying blind’ on coronavirus without more testing, experts say

March 12, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Health experts say testing needs to ramp up to better track and slow down the spread of the virus. The state says it currently has capacity to test for 1,300 cases of the disease.

Michigan’s top doc: No signs yet of ‘community spread’ of coronavirus

Michigan’s top doc: No signs yet of ‘community spread’ of coronavirus

March 12, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan is bracing for more cases, but has no backlog of tests after three state residents tested positive for the virus, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun told lawmakers Thursday.

At Michigan State, deciding whether to go home or stay for the meal plan

At Michigan State, deciding whether to go home or stay for the meal plan

March 12, 2020 | Kelly House

MSU emptied out quickly Wednesday as the school put an end to in-person classes until April. Some students worried about the quality of virtual education. Another is staying in the dorms to avoid his younger sister back home.

Pages